NYHarvey (2153) - New York, New York, USA - NOV 27, 2005
3 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Iím not getting the vanilla aroma I did the first time I tasted this. Smells like a slightly more hoppy michelob lager. Amber in color with a fast fading head. The vanilla comes out in the flavor along with a fruity sweetness (cherry?) and you can even taste the oak. Some almond notes are in there as well. The finish is a touch too syrupy tasting, but itís definitely one of the better Bud products Iíve ever had.
Kevin (2192) - New Mexico, USA - NOV 27, 2005
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
a nice pour, ruby hints in a rich mahogany body with a cream head. aroma has vanilla, sugar, and some sort of berry. interesting. sweet flavor, very sweet, but not cloying. cotton candy and vanilla are present. a bit butter toffee in the finish with some noticeable alcohol, but iím not complaining about noticing alcohol on a 10 percent sipper on a sunday morning while trying to get the smoker burning in the cold and rain. i will have brisquet, oh yes i will. back to the beer, caramel edge to this as it warms that also brings out more vanilla. a slick mouthfeel that coats my tongue. there is also something yarn like. i am enjoying this. this goes well with an iced honey bun
TheEnemy (564) - Chicago, USA - NOV 27, 2005
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
I must confess I was motivated in part to find out whether this is actually a good beer that got low ratings here because itís an A-B product or if the beer really is mediocre. Turns out itís the latter. Pours a thick clear dark ruby red with little carbonation or head. Pleasant but one-dimensional aroma of extract-like vanilla and alcohol; maybe some cherry if you really concentrate. Vanilla, sweet caramel malt, faint fruit (apple, cherry), and unfortunately medicinal flavor is at the same time complex and weak. Leave it to A-B to perfectly walk that line. (This theme is foreshadowed by the shimmering, glossy gift box holding an elegently labeled bottle topped with a freakiní screwcap. WTF is this, a limited-edition barrel-aged malt liquor?? This forehead-slappingly awkward packaging contradiction pretty much typifies the whole experience that is this beer.) For all the emphasis placed on the bourbon barrel aging, I canít detect the faintest hint of bourbon. Thin mouthfeel and a flat, half-dead oily palate. This is the brewing equivalent of Ford trying to make Mercedes-Benz-type luxury cars and ending up with Lincolns. Iíll give A-B credit for trying, as this appears to be an honest effort and not just a cynical attempt to market obvious junk as treasure.
KAggie97 (3529) - Ugly, Hot, and Humid Spring, Texas, USA - NOV 25, 2005
3 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: DEC 19, 2005 <b<Bottle
Pours a watery, dull amber with minimal head. Aroma is like a typical macro brew; I detect not one drop of "bourbon-like, caramelized toward the nose." Well, a bit of sweetness in the aroma, but not much else. Very subtle sweetness, a bit like a light mead. I detect a smidgen of bourbon and oak, but itís very subtle. Alcohol is slightly in the mix, giving the drinker a bit of tingy bite in the aftertaste. A bit of brandy emerges as it warms. Palate is a bit watery, but I suppose thatís the intention... ? Actually, this isnít a bad brew, but the $9 price tag for 24 oz. will probably keep me from buying this again.
beerguy101 (5359) - Newark, California, USA - NOV 24, 2005
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
This beer pours a reddish amber color from a 750ml screw top(!!) bottle. Small sized quickly diminishing white foamy head. Aroma is caramel malts, vanilla, oak, brown sugar and molasses. A medium to lighter bodied ale. Malts are fruity and sweet, with touches of caramel and biscuit. Hops are sort of non-existent. A touch sweet, hints of oak and the vanilla flavor while prevalent is not annoying. Touch of alcohol bite at 10%. OK the screw cap top is tacky with a capital T. The beer is a huge step up from the usual AB product. I bought and tasted this beer with quite a bit of trepidation. Knowing what AB usually turns out I was hesitant to shell out US $9 for a 750ml bottle of this beer. I was surprised with a good (not great) solid beer. OK AB, please make a beer of this quality all the time. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is sweet.
Odeed (1799) - Bakersfield, California, USA - NOV 22, 2005
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
first off i must say i thought the screw off top was wack....but anyway.the celebrate poured semi-clear orange with very little head.the aroma was a mix of vanilla,oak,hops and what i would describe as belgian sourness.the flavor was much in the same with a little brandy and chocolate thrown in as well.i must say i was pretty impressed and i dont see what the low ratings are about.
Ughsmash (7508) - Pewaukee, Wisconsin, USA - NOV 18, 2005
2.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 11/20
Sampled from a bottle at the 3rd Annual FoBAB. Amber pour with reddish highlights, along with a short, creamy off-white head. Aroma of vanilla beans, a bunch of caramel, and assorted candy. Exceptionally sweet, with a cloying blend of caramel and vanilla dominating. No bourbon characteristic to it, and just the faintest hint of oak. Just too much like candy on the palate, and alcohol made enough of an impression in the brew to clash with the candy. I do applaud AB for the effort, though.
beervana (781) - Libertyville, Illinois, USA - NOV 17, 2005
2.9 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 6/20
Sampled at the 3rd Annual Festival of Wood & Barrel-aged Beers held at Goose Island (Wrigleyville branch), Chicago, IL. Served from brown bottle. Strong amber lager aged with vanilla beans in bourbon barrels. Clear reddish amber hued with no discernable head. Intense aroma of sweet malt and toffee. No discernable carbonation. Medium bodied that starts with light sweet malt, toffee and bubble gum (Juicy Fruit) flavors and finishes with slight sweetness and light bitterness. An drinkable beer but the pronounced synthetic tasting bubble gum flavor could be overpowering to some folks.
Cornfield (5570) - Oak Forest, Illinois, USA - NOV 14, 2005
2.2 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 9/20
I had this at FoBAB 3, and not on my own ticket. The aroma was a strong, sweet vanilla, a cloying caramel, and a whiff of alcohol. It was more like drinking a candied copy of beer, the caramel and vanilla blending in the taste like something one might pull out of their Halloween bag. The advertised bourbon barrel aging really made no impression. I was just glad that there were so many great brews to move on to.
<font size=-4><a href=http://www.ratebeer.com/events-detail.asp?eve Third Annual Festival of Barrel-Aged Beers, Chicago, IL 11/12/2005<font size=-1>
Oakes (15806) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - OCT 11, 2005
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
To this point, a festival special for the GABF but they envisioned marketing it this coming Christmas, so weíll see. Dull amber colour. Light vanilla and caramel aroma with a hint of booziness. The flavour is very sweet and really heavy on the vanilla. Combine with a rather thick body and itís practically ice cream. Light caramel and oak background thankfully keep things on the beery side. Itís a bit simple overall, though, and Iím not a huge fan of vanilla in beer so that doesnít help win me over either.